Are Steelers a mystery team in market for Eric Weddle?

Eric Weddle is a dynamite fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense. Just ask right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

The problem would be money. Weddle can command a lot of it, and the Steelers are less inclined than most to spend on free agency. They align more with the Patriots, Packers and others -- build through the draft, use free agency for extra toppings on the shake. The Steelers are frugal spenders outside of their own players. Giving new tight end Ladarius Green $4.75 million in signing bonus money isn't a common thing for them.

But it seems Weddle wants to play for a contender, and reports say there are four teams in play.

Are the Steelers one of the four?

This is what we know: They've at least called Weddle's reps to check on Weddle. Might just be a feeler. Might be more. I think they are players to some extent. If Weddle draws a bidding war, I don't think the Steelers would go crazy.

But if they can make this happen, perhaps coach Mike Tomlin was setting the stage for all this back in October. Read about Tomlin's affection for Weddle before the Week 5 matchup with the Chargers:

"I love Eric Weddle, always have. He's so versatile. He's a sub-package linebacker. He plays strong safety. He plays free safety. He plays half-field, middle of the field. They blitz him. He's a do-everything type of a player, and a good one."

Tomlin gives detailed scouting reports on many players each week during the season, but he's also a smart guy -- he knew back in October the Steelers had safety issues alongside Mike Mitchell, and he knew Weddle would be available in the spring.

Look, the Steelers have options here. The signing of Green frees them up to draft regardless of need, and they came away impressed with Ohio State defensive backs Vonn Bell and Eli Apple at the Buckeyes' pro day Friday. There's also been talk of moving fourth-rounder Doran Grant to safety -- they are playing him at corner but believe he could be a hybrid option. And if Shamarko Thomas can ever clean up his neck-up game, the natural ability is there.

But at the least, the Steelers are intrigued by Weddle, who would give the defense a ton of flexibility and alleviate pressure off the corners. Tomlin implied as much himself.

Stay tuned on this. I don't think the Steelers/Weddle concept is dead by any stretch.